Church Goes to the Dogs

Riverside Christian Assembly in California has pulled off something few churches have ever done, building an evangelism team affectionately known as the “Dog Wakers.”

Not Dog “Walkers. Dog “Wakers.”

The neighborhood near the church, it turns out, has a large canine population—and most of the dogs bark incessantly when the team canvasses the area. “I bear a scare on my right index finger from a pit bull,” laughs Pastor Drew Brattrud. “He didn’t enjoy our wake up call and got his teeth through a gate.”

The evangelism team has contacted their neighbors in multiple ways. To date: 300 postcards, 324 emails, 1,057 app notices, and 100 door hangers—all of which have contributed to 1,000 website views. The theme of their effort is appropriately named “Bombard the Back Yard.”

Each member of the evangelism team has had a role. Carol Bennett has been a tremendous help with labeling mail and sending out invitations. The “Dog Wakers” also do their part, visiting homes in the area.

While they have kept boots on the ground, the church has also released daily short clips of preaching on Facebook and Instagram, spending a little extra to boost the posts and put them in front of more than a thousand viewers.

Brattrud has challenged members of the congregation to invite their friends and not just rely on “cold-call” neighborhood contacts. “Nine out of 10 people visit a church because a friend or family member invites them,” he reminds them, “so let’s invite more of our friends.”

Though the campaign is not yet finished, they have already seen results. Several have visited church services, and three families have continued to attend. An amazing baptism took place. “On average you must invite someone seven times before they will attend an event,” notes Brattrud. “With six contacts in the can, now we have to be ready meet them.”

Riverside Christian Assembly’s ongoing outreach will next include a local coupon mailer, reaching 5,000 area residents—1,100 of whom have already received postcards from the church. Their message will be on the middle front page once a month for four months. And they are improving their video message posts, even experimenting with some drone footage!

“We are proud of our church,” Brattrud says. “We no longer want to be the best kept secret in Riverside.” He notes that the 1,176 residents who live in their target area have, for five weeks in a row, received a postcard from the church.

And their dogs received a wake-up call.

 

Convention Hotel Filling Up

The convention hotel is filling up fast! 

The Quality Inn / Georgio’s Convention Center is already 75 percent full with reservations for Rev’D Up, the FCA convention this April 30 – May 3. If you haven’t already reserved your place, don’t delay. Especially if you want the convenience of staying right across the road from Christian Hills Church in Orland Park, Illinois — our convention hosts.

But it’s about much more than the convenience. It’s also the savings.

It’s only $89 per night for a room — and that includes a breakfast! Once the Quality Inn is full, we will need to connect you to a second hotel — most likely the Wyndham, three miles away and about $129 a night.

Check out the convention website.

You’ll find an overview of convention speakers and events — as well as the details you’ll need to register for the convention and the hotel. If the link above doesn’t work, copy and paste this into your browser: www.2019fcaconvention.com

Pastor Mike McCartney,
Christian Hills Church

Host pastor, Mike McCartney, says, “I’m looking forward to a great time of fellowship and encouragement this spring with our Fellowship pastors, missionaries, and a number of global ministers.”

With a great slate of speakers and workshops planned, convention goers can all expect to receive something to bless them in their ministries.

New Pastor for Alaskan Church

Branden & Jacqui Dyer

Branden Dyer was recently appointed pastor of The Little Chapel in Cordova, Alaska. Cordova is about 160 miles by air east southeast of Anchorage.

Branden, originally from Friend, Nebraska, grew up in Friend Christian Assembly. He attended Philadelphia School of Ministry in Seattle before going to Cordova a few years ago to assist the church there. Branden is married to Jacqui Gonzalez.

Not only does Branden have a shepherd’s heart for the people of Cordova, he also enjoys the fishing, hunting, and trapping of the Alaskan lifestyle.

The Philadelphia Church in Seattle plans to ordain Branden into the ministry January 27.

 

New Pastor Appointed

Pastor Ben Salmi and his wife, Crystal.

Pastor Ben Salmi has been appointed to serve as pastor at Full Gospel Church, in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. and was installed October 28. He follows Pastor David Reiten who served as pastor for 27 years.

Reiten participated in the installation service along with Fred Goldschmidt, associate pastor of Journey Christian Church, Cloquet, Minnesota, where Salmi had been serving as youth pastor. He and his family moved from there to Grand Rapids in September.

Salmi has been in vocational ministry since 2014, beginning at The Rock Worship Center in Cloquet, Minnesota. Prior to his call into ministry, he worked as residential remodeling contractor.

Pastor Ben has been married for 15 years to his wife, Crystal. Together, they have two daughters, Bella and Emmalyn, ages 10 and 5. He attended seminary at University of Northwestern, St. Paul. MN, where he earned a Master of Arts in Theological Studies.

“I am excited to see what God has in store for us in Grand Rapids,” says Salmi, “and how I get to participate in what God is doing at Full Gospel Church.” Salmi’s heart is to see people come to know and experience Jesus in a real way—in a life-changing way!

Enlightened

by Jael Brattrud 

Last Saturday my mom and I got to go to the “Anchored in Love” annual conference where we got to meet a lot of cool people including pro surfer and shark attack survivor Bethany Hamilton.

Bethany Hamilton, Christian surfer, one of the speakers at October’s Anchored in Love conference.

It was amazing to see Bethany in person, but it was even cooler to see my mom (Jeannie Brattrud) sharing the love of God to hundreds of girls around my age. It was a moment I’ll never forget—thousands of eyes glistening, ears listening to the message she put together. You could see their hearts filled and their spirits fulfilled as they walked throughout their day.

The conference speakers were impactful, and when we worshipped, God moved. It was powerful to see all types of people come together when we worshiped. Some people were tall, some were missing limbs (like Bethany), but…when we worshipped God, none of that mattered. We were all beautiful. Even though we were different, we all had something in common. That thing was that we all loved Jesus.

It was inspiring to hear tons of different stories of how God moved in people’s lives. Our theme was the God made us all “radiant.” The definition of “radiant” is giving off light or shining bright. God has placed a light in all of us to shine through the darkness of this world. We also learned about sunflowers and how they follow the sun as it moves from east to west. We learned that we should be “sunflowers” and follow the light wherever we go.

I’m excited to attend next year and excited to be the light where ever I go.

Jael Brattrud is the 11-year-old daughter of Drew and Jeannie Brattrud, who pastor Riverside Christian Assembly in Riverside, California.